Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with Senator Edward Markey, will be reintroducing the Green New Deal today, in a proposal designed to help the country shift away from fossil fuels while simultaneously creating jobs. Republicans oppose the Green New Deal, prompting some to ask whether reintroducing the resolution in a divided Congress is wise.
“Markey and Ocasio-Cortez say they’re aiming to ensure that Democrats’ landmark climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, is implemented in a way that upholds the Green New Deal’s core principles,” The Washington Post reported.
Speaking with The Climate 202, Markey clarified his position. “The Green New Deal jumpstarted the movement that won the IRA, a historic accomplishment that represents a major down payment on the Green New Deal goals. But there is much more work to do. We want to make sure it’s implemented so that front line environmental justice communities, who have for too long borne the brunt of the climate crisis, are getting the benefits which they were promised.”
We’ve seen this move before
AOC and Markey first introduced the Green New Deal in 2019, inciting mass discussion in the process. Proponents of the resolution believe the plan is bold and forward-thinking, with the potential to address climate change and inequality. Conservatives, on the other hand, feel that the Green New Deal is too broad, meaning it doesn’t just touch environmental issues, but also proposes universal health care and affordable housing.
Without question, the debate surrounding the Green New Deal will reignite.
The specifics of the deal
The Green New Deal is a nonbinding resolution that “lays out a broad vision for how the nation should reduce planet-warming emissions while righting historic inequalities,” according to The Washington Post. Specifically, the deal calls for “the world to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, with the United States – the world’s biggest emitter – taking a “leading role.”
The deal also “says America’s transition to clean energy should create “high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages” and should guarantee “direct replacement of lost wages, health care, retirement and other benefits for workers affected by the transition,” The Washington Post reported.
AOC’s take on the deal
I have spilled a lot of ink criticizing AOC; I’m cautiously optimistic that the Green New Deal is loaded with worthwhile initiatives – but I’m concerned with the premise of righting historical inequalities, as Democrats seem to manifest that principle in ways that don’t make a lot of sense to me.
Here’s what AOC had to say: “When we first introduced the Green New Deal,” AOC said, “we were told that our vision for the future was too aspirational. Four years later, we see core tenets of the Green New Deal reflected in the Inflation Reduction Act – the largest ever federal investment in fighting climate change, with a focus on creating good, green jobs.”
The “Implementation Guide”
Later today, Democrats are expected to offer the “Implementation Guide” to the Green New Deal, which provides an “overview of federal funding that can help communities meet the principles of the Green New Deal.” Those principles? “Creating good-paying jobs, promoting justice and equity, and acting on climate with the urgency and scope demanded by the science.”
Personally, I’m interested in the job bits and the fighting climate change bits. I have reservations about promoting justice and equity as the Democrats define such things. I am also skeptical of any Democrat appealing to the demands of science, having lived through the Democratic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.